Coaching and Mentoring – Grow Model

Recently I went through a training on Coaching and Mentoring. Since then I never thought them as two different things. So thought of sharing the knowledge i got from it with you all here.

Both are typically 2 things, coaching is more like a guided tour towards the problem’s solution, while mentoring is shedding light and making aware of the problem and making the person figure out the solution to his own problems.

Coaching is more like, the Coach gets some part of the ownership of the process of a task in which he is coaching. For example, in the context of Software engineering, coaching is in which the coach may join in a pair programing session to help solve the problem or provide expert advice on where to look into or suggests an architecture to apply.

In the case of mentoring, the mentor more often does not involve in finding the solution for the problem arisen. He will help you to untangle a problem and to focus on the problem and helps you make your own decisions. For example in the context of software engineering, a mentor will ask a series of questions which will reduce the complexity of the exact problem you need to fix. And also he may refer you to look into similar module areas to find a solution yourself.

In the sense coaching kind of drains the coach’s time, and its not productive compared to the mentor ship. In mentor ship the mentor clears the confusion and gives the basic information on what can help which saves the mentor’s time which he can work on something else and the person who is being mentored will also gets encouraged to solve the problem based on the information provided, more of self learning which is productive.

Encouraging mentor ship over coaching, for knowledge sharing will result in productive towards the new employee and saves time for the mentor, and all results in business profit.

So some of you may be still confused or unclear of what I was talking about above. Mentors use a model called Grow Model for the purpose of mentoring, I’ll explain how we can use it to mentor and you may have a better idea of what is mentor ship afterwards.

Grow Model is basically a set of targets you achieve by asking a series of questions

G – Goal
R – Reality
O – Options
W – When and Where

Goal is where you figure out what exactly your problem is and whats your exact focus is on for example “Keeping the Meeting stick to the Agenda”

Reality is the module where you identify the facts that may make the Goal complex, but as long as you know what they are, its not recommended you spend much time on this section.
For example “Albert always comes late to the meeting and he always finds a way to deviate the meeting from the agenda”

Park is an unofficial element in the GROW Model which I would like to mention here, where you put things that are making your main goal complex in. May be in future you can take them and define a GROW model for each of them later.

Options is the module where you come up with the options on how to achieve your goals and select one of them to be executed. For example “People who come late to the meetings are not allowed to join in, whenever the topic deviates, stop and bring it back to the point instantly”

Where and When is where you decide where and when the selected option will be executed and usually ends up with a follow up with the mentor on what happened.

So this GROW model does not has to be used only with mentoring, in the above scenario it is just another day to day meeting which I have applied. So feel free to try out this model and let me know how it worked.

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